2018 Chevrolet Equinox (Review)

After undergoing a complete redesign for 2018, the new and improved Equinox is now better than ever with changes that can be immediately seen and felt. Being smaller, lighter in weight, and more fuel efficient than its predecessor, the Equinox still offers a lot of cargo room and a spacious, well appointed interior cabin for taller passengers as well as abundance of advanced technology that make it one of the best compact SUV’s in its class. The crossover has become one of Chevrolet’s most popular vehicles, providing excellent value and functionality.

My test model, the Premier trim, came equipped with a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine that produces 170 horsepower, 203 lb-ft of torque, and yields an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

With a starting MSRP of $35,330, the Premier trim with all-wheel-drive comes fitted with a heated steering wheel, 6-speed automatic transmission, proximity entry, leather trim, LED head/tail lights, heated driver and front passenger seats, remote start, a large 8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, OnStar System with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, dual-zone automatic climate control, and heated rear seats.

Safety features include- lane-departure warning, automatic emergency low-speed braking, forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot warning, a teen driver system with speed warnings, rear park assist, and a rearview camera.

On the road, the Equinox is a strong performer and provides a comfortable and enjoyable ride over bumpier surfaces and smooth handling on busy highways. Acceleration is good and the vehicle handles sharp corners and curvy roads with ease and great precision. It has a planted feel on the road and offers a comfortable ride that you would expect from its higher priced competitors.

Interior features are very nice as well with a stylish dashboard and console area, plush and supportive seats, and a host of tech features. The front and rear cabin is contemporary, stylish, and spacious with enough room to accommodate taller passengers and there is almost 30 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats to haul medium to large bags, luggage, and boxes. With the rear seats folded down, there is an impressive 63 cubic feet of cargo space to accommodate even more items.

 

 

I highly recommend taking a look at the new redesigned 2018 Equinox, because it is definitely worth considering if you are in the market for a compact SUV with advanced technology, sleek exterior detailing, comfortable and upscale interior, great performance, and is like no other.

To find out more about the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, please visit- www.chevrolet.com

 

 

 

 

2018 Chevrolet Volt Electric Hybrid Hatchback (Review)

As gas prices have continued to climb in recent years, more consumers are seeking fuel efficient vehicles that not only have a stylish exterior, comfortable interior, and technologically advanced features, but fuel efficiency that can be felt with fewer trips to the gas station. The new 2018 Chevrolet Volt embodies all of those characteristics and so much more. Chevrolet has introduced a hybrid sedan that saves gas, money, time, and provides one of the best hybrid driving experiences available today.

The Volt is a mid-size, plug-in electric hybrid vehicle that comes in two trim levels- LT and Premier, and has become one of the most popular hybrids in North America. It is powered by an electric motor that delivers 149 horsepower and 273 lb. ft. of torque. The electric motor receives power from a 18.4 kilowatt lithium-ion battery pack until the charge is 70% used up, at this point the vehicle’s 1.5 liter, 4-cylinder gas engine kicks in and powers the electric motor.

There are various driving modes, such as normal, sport, a mountain mode for rougher terrain conditions, and a hold mode, which turns of the all-electric propulsion mode until the best driving conditions are met, permitting the vehicle to achieve optimal efficiency.

Standard features for the LT trim include- keyless ignition/entry, heated mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels, remote ignition, automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, LED running lamps, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, cruise control, an auxiliary audio jack, automatic headlights, a height-adjustable driver seat, satellite radio, an iPod/USB interface, Bluetooth and phone connectivity, OnStar communication with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity, 8-inch touch screen display, a 6-speaker audio system with CD player, and Chevrolet’s MyLink system, which offers Smartphone integration and voice controlled audio functions. For 2018, the leather-wrapped steering wheel is not a standard feature; instead it is available with certain packages.

The Premier Trim adds leather upholstery, heated rear outboard seats, a wireless charging pad for smartphones and other devices, a center armrest, heated front seats, a removable rear seat, better 17-inch wheels, an automated parking system, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

A Driver Confidence package is available for both the Premier and LT trims and offers rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

For the Premier trim, a Driver Confidence 2 package can be added to the Driver Confidence package, which offers adaptive headlights, forward collision warning with automatic low-speed emergency braking, lane departure warning and intervention, adaptive cruise control and an upgraded automatic emergency braking system. A navigation system is optional for the Premier trim.

Increased safety packages are also available for the Volt and include a rearview camera, forward collision and lane departure warning functions, front parking sensors, and rear parking sensor. A 7-speaker Bose Audio System, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a navigation system with digital music storage and voice controls are optional.

Unlike an all-electric vehicle, such as the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Volt is a hybrid, in which the vehicle operates in electric mode for about 38 miles and then the 1.5-liter, 4 cylinder gas engine switches on to generate electricity to help prolong the Volt’s mpg by an estimated 300 miles. Between the battery and an 8.9-gallon fuel tank, the Volt delivers an impressive 420-mile range, which makes it the perfect choice for long distance trips.

Compared to many hybrid competitors, the Volt definitely has a longer electric range. Many of the Volt’s plug-in competitors can only operate in electric mode for  about 10-20 miles before switching over to hybrid mode, whereas the Volt can achieve in electric mode more than 35 miles. This makes the Volt the best choice for commuters who typically drive shorter distances to school, work, or in the city, eliminating the need to visit a gas station for a very long time with the Volt’s Hybrid System yielding an astounding 101 in the city and 93 on the highway.

It is necessary to plug the car into either a 120 or 240 volt outlet to recharge the battery. I recommend using a 240 outlet, because it greatly reduces the charging time to only about 4.5 hours, whereas the 120 outlet takes about 10 hours to charge completely.

Unlike many other hybrids, the Volt has an attractive and sleek exterior that looks very much like the Chevy Cruze Hatchback. In fact, from certain angles, it is nearly impossible to tell them apart, aside from the Volt’s distinctive badge and rear/tail that sits higher to better repel air in the best way possible.

The interior of the Chevy Volt is stylish, modern, with a quiet cabin, comfortable seats, and high-end materials. The front cabin feels spacious and there is plenty of head/leg room for taller passengers. The Volt’s interior has a twin-cockpit design with elegant black and silver accents. I like the layout of the dashboard with the big 8.0-inch touch screen display and I noticed that the soft “touch” controls that were in the first generation of the Volt have been replaced with easier to use traditional buttons, which work much better. Cargo space is somewhat limited with no cover to hide items in the trunk, and the bottom of the front of the vehicle seems to scrape the ground when entering or exiting some driveways.

On the road the Chevy Volt provides a smooth, comfortable ride, navigating curves and tight corners extremely well, without any roll feel, and handles bumpy road conditions with ease. The Volt has a refined demeanor and feels composed even on rougher terrain. The hybrid engine is quiet and there is only a small amount of noise heard from the tires when driving over rougher surfaces.

Currently, for the 2018 Volt, a 7,500 federal tax credit is available and many states in the U.S. are offering generous incentives, which make it one of the most affordable hybrid vehicles available and with a starting MSRP of only $33,220, it is definitely worth taking a look at.

To find out more about the 2018 Chevrolet Volt, please visit- www.chevrolet.com

 

2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited Sedan (Review)

The Hyundai Sonata Limited is a stylish, well appointed, four-door, mid-size sedan with smooth on the road performance, and a sleek design that is like no other in its class. The Sonata has a refined, upscale, comfortable, and luxurious exterior/interior, which is amazingly similar to more expensive luxury vehicles, such as the Audi A4 and Lexus ES, with technologically advanced features, excellent fuel economy, and top of the line performance that make the Sonata a real competitor with some of the world’s most popular sedans.

The Sonata has received a refresh for the 2018 model year, but has not been completely redesigned since 2015 and comes in six trim levels- SE, SEL, Eco, Sport, Limited, and Limited 2.0T.

The Sonata SE comes equipped with a 185-horsepower, four-cylinder engine, and a 6-speed automatic transmission. It has ample power for daily driving, but if you want more power, there are two turbocharged four-cylinder engines available. The top level trims come fitted with a powerful 245-horsepower engine that delivers more powerful performance and better acceleration.

The base SE trim has a starting MSRP of $22,050 and includes- air conditioning, power steering, a 7-inch touch-screen display, smartphone connectivity, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with volume controls, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, a Blue Link infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple Car Play, USB and auxiliary ports, and yields an estimated 24 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on the highway.  A power sunroof, wireless device charging, a 9-speaker Infinity premium sound system, satellite radio, and a bigger 8-inch touch screen with navigation are available.

The fuel-efficient Sonata Eco comes fitted with a 178-horsepower engine, has a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission instead of the standard 6-speed automatic that is in the base trim, and delivers the best fuel economy of all the trims.

The Sonata SEL has an MSRP of $23,700 and comes with the same standard features as the base SE trim, but adds heated front seats, satellite radio, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and HD Radio. A technology package is available for the SEL and offers automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, and lane keep assist.

Standard features for the Sport trim include- a power sunroof and sport seats, but there are no package options for the Sport. If more power is desired, Hyundai has an engine upgrade option, which offers the 2.0T, which is a powerful, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine with 245- horsepower, quick acceleration, and excellent fuel economy, and yields 33 mpg on the highway.  An Ultimate package is available and adds wireless device charging, a heated steering wheel, satellite radio, lane keep assist, rear parking sensors, an infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, automatic emergency braking, and an Infinity sound system.

Safety features on all trim models include- front-impact airbags, tire-pressure monitor, brake assist, occupancy classification sensor, traction control, driver and front passenger side impact airbags, active front head restraints, front and rear seat head-protection curtains, brake assist, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution, and electronic stability control.

Interior features are quite impressive, especially with the Sonata Limited trim level.  In fact, the Limited is the most luxurious, highly appointed model in the Sonata lineup and comes fitted with either a standard or turbocharged engine, leather seats, sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear console mounted vents, 360-watt sound system, heated front/rear seats, leather wrapped steering wheel, turn signal indicators in the outside mirrors, auto dimming rearview mirror with compass, wood grain or piano black interior trim accents, and 17-inch aluminum wheels.  The Limited Navigation Package adds a rearview camera, intuitive navigation system, premium sound, and a panoramic sunroof.

The Hyundai Sonata has a spacious front and rear cabin and can seat five passengers comfortably, providing enough head/leg room for taller passengers.  The interior of the Limited model is beautiful with ergonomic, supportive, and plush leather seats, which make the vehicle a great choice for long road trips. There is plenty of cargo space-16.4 cubic feet, to accommodate large bags, small furniture items, boxes, and luggage.

The Hyundai Sonata has an impressive exterior that from many angles appears a lot like a luxury sedan.  In my opinion, it could easily be mistaken for a Mercedes, Audi, or a Lexus. Hyundai did an excellent job of designing the Sonata, giving it an upscale appearance, without the high price tag.  It is classified as “mid-size”, but really has larger dimensions that are similar to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

Even though the Sonata looks similar to some expensive luxury sedans, it definitely has a unique style that is all its own with delicate, fluidic creases along the sides of the vehicle that move toward and inward from the side frames of the windshield, attracting attention to the striking chrome grille and Hyundai logo.  The exterior rear is elegant with soft, curved lines, and minimized taillights.

Interior amenities in the Limited model are luxurious with refined, chrome-like plastic trim, glossy faux wood grain accents, an attractive dashboard, and a stylish middle console area.

On the road, the Hyundai Sonata Limited provides a smooth and quiet ride, with minimal road noise.  It also has a regal and composed feel to it while driving and handles like a luxury vehicle, gliding over rough surfaces effortlessly, and accelerating quickly with strong, accurate braking in heavy traffic.

If you have been looking for a “luxury” type mid-size sedan that is fun to drive, stylish inside and out, spacious, comfortable, fuel efficient, and affordable, then I highly recommend taking a look at the 2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited.

To find out more about the Hyundai Sonata Limited, please visit- www.hyundaiusa.com

 

 

 

 

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network.

 

 

2017 Honda Fit EX-L with Navi Hatchback (Review)

For a decade, the Honda Fit has been one of the best subcompact vehicles available and it’s amazing longevity is no surprise for those who have experienced all that the Fit has to offer, such as excellent fuel economy, advanced technology, spritely on the road performance, a roomy front and rear cabin, spacious cargo area, and an eye-catching exterior design that is like no other.

The 2017 Honda Fit comes in four trim levels: EX, LX, EX-L, EX-L with Navi, and comes fitted with a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 130 horsepower and 114 lb. ft. of torque. Both the LX and EX trims come equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, but a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional. The manual transmission yields an estimated 29 mpg in the city/36 mpg on the highway, the CVT equipped models yield an estimated 32 mpg in the city/37 mpg on the highway, and the LX yields an impressive 33 mpg in the city/40 mpg on the highway.

The LX trim includes- automatic headlights, a rearview camera, LED brake lights, 15-inch steel wheels, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 5-inch display screen, full power accessories, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB port, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a 4-speaker audio system with CD player.

EX trims add 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a sunroof, keyless entry/ignition, a 7-inch touch screen display, an upgraded rearview camera, Honda’s Lane Watch blind-spot display, a six-speaker audio system with two USB ports, Siri voice connectivity, smart phone app integration, and an HDMI input, which is necessary for certain HondaLink features to function properly. The EX-L adds heated body-color side mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, leather upholstery, and heated front seats. The EX-L with Navi adds, of course, a navigation system with voice recognition and an HD satellite radio.

From the outside, the Fit appears small, but not from the inside. The entire front and rear cabin feels very spacious with ample head/legroom for taller passengers and the seats are comfortable and supportive.  The rear seatbacks can be folded forward to yield more cargo room than the majority of vehicles in its class.

Because of the Fit’s compact size, it is easy to maneuver and park in crowded places and it handles very well on bumpier road surfaces.

Standard safety features include- antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, and active head restraints. The Lane Watch blind-spot system, which comes standard on the EX trim and above, includes a small camera in the passenger-side mirror that offers a wide and low view of a blind spot when the right turn signal is on. In government crash testing, the 2017 Honda Fit achieved a top five-star overall rating- four stars for rollover, five stars for front-crash protection, and five stars for side-crash protection.

The interior of the 2017 Honda Fit is comfortable, spacious, and there is ample head/legroom in the front and rear cabin for taller passengers. All of the controls are easy to reach and operate and the touch screen display is large on the EX trim, which improves visibility and readability. The rear seat can split 60/40 and features a flip-up seat cushion that opens floor to ceiling room for taller/elevated items. When both rear seatbacks are folded down flat, there is 52.7 cubic feet of cargo room and the front passenger seat can also fold flat to accommodate cargo up to 8 ft. in length, which is impressive and makes the Fit stand out among other subcompact in its class.

On the road, the Fit is a strong performer and feels poised on the highway. Road noise is surprisingly minimal and the vehicle navigates very well around sharp corners and on curvy roadways. The Fit accelerates quickly and is great for short trips around town as well as longer excursions.

Even though the Honda Fit may not appear that exciting upon first glance, the vehicle has so much to offer and is extremely dependable, fuel efficient, versatile, and has a starting MSRP of only $16,090, making it one of the most inexpensive vehicles in its class. The Fit represents an excellent value for anyone looking for a subcompact vehicle that is affordable, stylish, and reliable.

To find out more about the 2017 Honda Fit, please visit- www.Honda.com

 

 

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network.

2016 Toyota Prius Hybrid 4-Door Hatchback (Review)

Without a doubt, the Prius is the most popular and distinctive hybrid vehicle that Toyota has ever produced and is a true pioneer in hybrid technology. Since the Prius was introduced in the early nineties, other hybrid vehicles have entered the automotive scene in more recent years, but none other has been able to surpass the popularity of the Prius. With a unique style, smooth handling, and excellent fuel economy with the new Prius Eco yielding an amazing 56 MPG combined, it is easy to see why it is still the world’s best selling hybrid vehicle.

The 2016 Prius has been completely redesigned with a lower, ergonomic, and supportive driver seat, increased front cabin leg and headroom, 14 percent more cargo/trunk space, improved handling, and a sleek, new exterior design.

The four-door hatchback seats up to five passengers and is available in six trim levels- Two, Two Eco, Three, Three Touring, Four and Four Touring. Also available are the compact Prius C and larger Prius V models.

Standard features include- height adjustable driver and passenger cloth seats, split-folding rear seatback, storage center armrest, hands-free entry, 4 one-touch power windows, clock, trip computer, external temperature display, cruise control, front and rear cupholders, front door pockets, overhead console with storage, front seatback storage, electric power steering, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, sound and cruise controls on steering wheel, rear view camera, interior air filtration, climate control, simulated alloy steering wheel, dual illuminating vanity mirrors, 6 speakers, AM/FM stereo, auxiliary audio input and USB with external media control, radio data system, USB connection, Telematics, and Bluetooth wireless data link for hands-free phone connectivity.

The Prius Two trim features- automatic LED headlights, heated mirrors, cruise control, LED running lights and taillights, automatic climate control, dual 4.2-inch driver information screens, 15-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 6.1-inch touch screen display, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice recognition with Siri Eyes, CD player, a 6-speaker sound system, an auxiliary audio jack, and a USB port.

The more efficient Prius Two Eco comes equipped with two-tone wheel covers, illuminated keyless entry on three doors, a more lightweight lithium-ion hybrid battery, ultralow-rolling-resistance tires, and an inflation kit instead of a spare tire. A rear wiper that is standard on the other trims is not included on the Two Eco.

Standard features for the Prius Three trim include- a navigation system, leatherette steering wheel and armrest trim, white interior accents, a wireless phone charging pad, satellite radio, HD radio, Toyota’s Entune premium infotainment system with a bigger 7-inch touch screen display, real-time traffic, weather, and fuel price information, as well as easy access to apps such as- Yelp, iHeartRadio, OpenTable, and Pandora.

The Prius Four comes fitted with a power driver seat with adjustable lumbar, leatherette upholstery with contrasting white stitching, a rear cargo cover, automatic wipers, blind spot monitoring, seatback storage pockets, rear cross-traffic alert, and heated front seats.

Standard equipment for the Three Touring and Four Touring trims include all of the aforementioned features that the Prius Three and Four models have, but add LED clearance lights, fog lights, a pre-collision warning system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and intervention, leatherette upholstery with contrasting blue seat stitching, automatic high beams, 17-inch alloy wheels, and unique rear bumper detailing.

An Advanced Technology Package that includes a head-up display, sunroof, and the Toyota Safety Sense System is available and the Prius Four and Prius Four Touring trims can be equipped with a Premium Convenience Package, which adds a self-parking system, a premium JBL 10-speaker sound system, and Safety Connect emergency services.

The interior of the Prius is simple, yet very modern with controls with easy to use controls. Road noise is minimal and both the front and rear cabin are spacious with enough head/legroom for taller passengers. Even though there are a lot of hard plastics throughout the front cabin, the layout looks clean and uncluttered. I found that all of the controls were easy to reach and operate while driving and the interior was surprisingly roomier than it appears from the exterior. Trunk space is quite accommodating and can be expanded with the split folding rear seats to haul larger items.

The Prius is powered by a 1.8-liter hybrid engine with a mixed production of 121 horsepower that is connected to a (CVT) continuously variable transmission. A plug-in version is also available, however; due to its heftier batteries, it can reach 62 MPH solely on electric power. Other trims are available, such as the bigger Prius V Wagon and the smaller and less expensive Prius C hatchback.

The 2016 Toyota Prius has a high safety rating and is one of the safest hybrid vehicles available. It comes equipped with 4-wheel ABS, front and rear head airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags, child seat anchors, emergency braking assist, ventilated front disc/solid rear disc brakes, rear door child safety locks, daytime running lights, engine immobilizer, auto delay off headlamps, 2 front headrests, 3 rear headrests, passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation, rear center 3-point belt, stability control, traction control, rear folding headrests, tire pressure monitoring, first aid kit, an Emergency Assistance Kit, and a security system with impact sensor.

On the road, the Prius has great driving dynamics and has a stable, yet lightweight feel. A Plus Performance package is available, which improves the driving experience, adding a rear sway bar, lowering springs, and 17-inch wheels.

The 2016 Prius is the perfect choice for consumers desiring a vehicle that can be driven all day in both the city and on the highway delivering optimal fuel economy and a fast charging rate.  The Prius is also very affordable with a starting MSRP of only $24,200.

If you have been looking for a hybrid vehicle that is fun to drive, comfortable, spacious, and affordable with excellent fuel economy, then I highly recommend looking at the 2016 Toyota Prius Hybrid Hatchback.

To find out more about the Toyota Prius, please visit- www.Toyota.com

 

 

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network.

2016 Lexus ES 350 Review

2016-lexus-es-350

The 2016 Lexus ES 350 is a midsize, 5-passenger sedan that remains a benchmark for the entry-level luxury segment with smooth on the road performance, sleek styling, plush interior, and a host of advanced technological features.

For the 2016 model year, the ES 350 received some minor upgrades, such as better sound insulation in the interior, optional bi-LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a restyled front and rear end, and a revised safety package featuring an updated version of Lexus’ pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.

The ES 350 comes fitted with a quiet 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 268 horsepower and 248 lb. ft. of torque that is paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Standard features for the ES 350 include- a sunroof, driver-adjustable drive settings, LED daytime running headlights, keyless ignition/start and entry, 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a 7-inch touchscreen, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, heated mirrors, an 8-speaker sound system with a CD player, Safety Connect emergency communication system, iPhone voice control integration, 8-way power front seats with two-way adjustable lumbar, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette upholstery, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack, iPod/USB audio interface, HD radio, and a rearview camera. A panoramic sunroof, navigation, perforated leather upholstery, HID headlights, a Mark Levinson audio system, and 18-inch alloy wheels are optional.

On the road, the ES 350 provides a smooth and very comfortable driving experience with a well-mannered and sophisticated ride quality that is similar to an Audi A6. Although the ES is not sporty, the sedan has a firm and planted feel on the road with precise steering, strong braking, provides quick acceleration in Sport mode, handles sharp corners with ease, and at highway speeds, the interior is extraordinarily quiet, mostly bereft of road, wind, and engine noise.

The interior is modern, comfortable, and the seats in the front and rear cabin are plush and supportive with an ergonomic feel. There is plenty of head/legroom for taller passengers and the dashboard and console areas are made with high end materials. The well designed analog clock and the interior color scheme with matte finish bamboo trim elements adds an elegant touch, while the large 7-inch touchscreen is easy to use and the controls are within arm’s reach.

Cargo space is ample measuring 15.2 cubic feet, but space in the rear cabin cannot be increased because the rear seats do not split and fold down.

Safety features include- dual front, front-side, and side curtain air bags, frontal knee airbags, and rear-side airbags as well as the Lexus Safety System+, which includes driver assistance and safety features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with steering assist, intelligent high beam, and a Pre-Collision System that offers  automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning.

For something a bit sportier, the 2016 Lexus RC 350 is definitely worth looking at, but in my opinion, the ES 350 is one of the best entry-level midsize luxury sedans available and with an MSRP of less than $38,500, the ES 350 provides a luxurious and comfortable driving experience at an affordable price.

To find out more about the 2016 Lexus ES 350, please visit- www.lexus.com

 

 

 

 

1480530575757Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network.

2016 Toyota Corolla S (Review)

The 2016 Toyota Corolla is a 5-passenger compact sedan that from first glance may not appear very exciting, but for fifty years, it has been one of the bestselling compact vehicles in the U.S., currently ranks as the world’s best-selling small sedan, and has gained a reputation for being reliable, dependable, and affordable. With the Corolla, reliability is one of its most popular strength and feature, but after undergoing a redesign in 2014, the Corolla is now better than ever with a more sleek and refined exterior, greater technology features, and improved interior elements throughout the front and rear cabin, including a fold-down rear center armrest which is available on the upper trim levels. Also, the new exterior is bolder with a large trapezoidal lower grille and an attractive taut upper grille.

For the 2016 model year, the Corolla received an S Special Edition variation, an updated Entune sound system, and a variety of cosmetic improvements.

The Corolla is available in four trims- L, LE, LE Eco, and S.  All models are equipped with a 1.8 liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 132 horsepower and 128 ft-lb of torque. A Plus and Premium package are available on LE and S models, an Eco package is available on the LE trim, and all of the trims, except for the L trim are accessible in both Plus and Premium sub-trims.

Standard features on the base L model include 15-inch steel wheels, LED headlights, air-conditioning, running lights, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with auxiliary controls, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB/iPod interface, an auxiliary audio jack, and a 4-speaker sound system with a CD player.

The LE adds 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, cruise control, keyless entry, metallic cabin accents, automatic climate control, back-up camera, voice controls a 6-speaker sound system with a 6-inch touchscreen display, and Bluetooth audio connectivity.

The LE Plus Package adds 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, piano black interior accents and eligibility for both an optional sunroof and the Driver Convenience package, which includes the sunroof and adds keyless entry and ignition, a roof-mounted antenna, Entune App Suite, satellite radio, HD radio, and a navigation system.  Available and optional features include heated front seats, premium vinyl upholstery, and a power driver seat.

The LE Eco Trim includes all standard features but adds 15-inch steel wheels, a rear spoiler, transmission tuning, low-rolling-resistance tires, an efficiency-maximizing engine, and better aerodynamics. The LE Eco Plus adds 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome window trim, fog lights, and an Eco driving mode.

The sporty S trim offers all of the features that the LE trim has, but adds special wheel covers, a chrome grille frame, color-keyed mirrors, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, a chrome exhaust tip, sport instrumentation, a rear spoiler, sport front seats, trip computer, and a sport driving mode.

The S Plus adds firmer suspension tuning, 17-inch alloy wheels, and rear disc brakes.  A Driver Convenience package and sunroof are options available for the S Plus trim.

A limited-production S Special Edition, marks the Corolla’s 50th anniversary and comes equipped with the standard gear of the S Plus, but adds keyless entry and ignition, 17-inch alloy wheels with a special gloss black finish, all-black interior with red contrast stitching, red accents on the instrument panel, and Special Edition badges. Although, the S Plus has a sporty design, it is not available with a manual transmission.

Standard safety features include- stability and traction control, antilock brakes, a driver knee airbag, front side airbags, a passenger seat cushion airbag, and side curtain airbags. All trims except the base L include a rearview camera.

After undergoing a complete overhaul in 2014, the exterior and interior is more refined, with a better style, an easy to use touch screen display, and a stylish dashboard.  In the upper trim levels, the 6.1-inch touch screen and bolstered seats give the sedan a more upscale appearance.  There is ample room to accommodate taller passengers in the front and rear cabin and the seats feel comfortable and supportive. Trunk space measures approximately 13 cubic feet, which is average for its class.

On the road, the Corolla offers a quiet, comfortable ride- similar to the Camry, handles very well on the highway, and road noise is very minimal. The 4-speed automatic yields an estimated 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway and the LE Eco yields an impressive 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway.

Even though the Corolla may not appear particularly exciting upon first glance, the vehicle has a lot to offer and is extremely dependable, fuel efficient, versatile, and with an MSRP of only about $18,000, it represents an excellent value for anyone looking for a sedan that is affordable, stylish, and reliable.

To find out more about the 2016 Toyota Corolla, please visit- www.Toyota.com

2016 Toyota Yaris 5-Door LE Limited Hatchback Review

It is the most affordable subcompact and fuel efficient vehicle in the Toyota lineup, but the Yaris offers a lot more than just basic transportation these days after undergoing some new upgrades in 2014 with new distinctive front and rear styling, better soft touch materials on the dashboard, and improved interior tech features, including a 6.1 inch touchscreen infotainment interface on every trim level, voice recognition, music streaming, six speakers, HD radio, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB port, and an optional navigation system.

Available as either a sedan or hatchback, the Yaris offers a lot of choices and some upscale features that were formerly only reserved for cars that are bigger and more costly. Standard features include power locks and mirrors, a height-adjustable driver seat, air-conditioning.

There are three trims- L, LE, and the SE trim which is only offered for the 5-door model.

Standard features for the L trim include- a trip computer, air-conditioning, 15-inch steel wheels, power door locks and windows, Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a height-adjustable driver seat, a USB/iPod interface, a 6-speaker audio system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack, and a CD player.

The LE adds keyless entry, power side mirrors, cruise control, 15-inch alloy wheels, chrome interior door handles, metallic interior accents, and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

The top-of-the-line SE trim comes fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, projector-beam headlights, LED running lights, a rear spoiler, unique exterior styling elements, better cloth upholstery, a sport-tuned suspension, sportier tires, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shifter, and 4-wheel disc brakes.

The Yaris comes fitted with a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 106 horsepower and 103 lb. ft. of torque and is available with a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. The 3-door L and 5-door SE trims come equipped with a standard manual transmission, but an automatic is optional and all 5-door L hatchback and LE trims come equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission.

The Yaris is very fuel efficient, yielding an impressive 30 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway with the manual and an estimated 30 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway for the automatic transmission.

The Yaris has an appealing style and lightweight design, making the vehicle extremely nimble on the road, however it does not feel as smooth driving or spacious as the Corolla does.

Even though the Yaris has more competition in its segment, it is still one of the most reliable subcompact vehicles and a top choice for every day driving with a 4-speed automatic transmission, composed ride quality, steady handling, comfortable seats, and bigger cargo space in the hatchback model.

Standard safety features include- front seat side airbags, anti-lock brakes, a driver knee airbag, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, front and rear side curtain airbags, and front seat cushion airbags.

Interior features are very nice with easy to use controls and the seats in the front and rear cabin feel firm, supportive, and there is enough head/legroom for taller passengers. The front seats are mounted a bit high for my preference, but do help give better visibility of the road. The dashboard area has greatly improved since 2011, but there are still many hard plastic elements.

On the road, the Yaris performs very well, but does not accelerate or pick-up as quickly as the Corolla does and feels a little underpowered at times. The Yaris feels steady when navigating curvy roads and delivers a reasonably smooth ride when driven at normal speeds.

Overall, the Yaris is sporty, cute, fun to drive, and is a practical car for every day commuting.   It will definitely save you a lot of time and money at the gas pump.

In a time when gas prices have reached record levels, more and more people are looking for vehicles that are fuel efficient and affordable.  For these reasons, the 2016 Toyota Yaris is the perfect choice.  With a modern, appealing, attractive design, and an excellent fuel economy, the Yaris has quickly become one of the most popular and practical cars for commuters today.

The Yaris is competitively priced with a starting MSRP of only $14,895, which makes it one of the most affordable subcompact vehicles in its class.

Whether young or old, if you are looking for an inexpensive, reliable, and affordable car to drive, then I highly recommend taking a look at the 2016 Toyota Yaris.

2016 Toyota Avalon 4-Door Sedan (Review)

The 2016 Toyota Avalon is a full-sized premium sedan that is comfortable, practical sedan, and luxurious offering a smooth ride even on some of the bumpiest surfaces. The Avalon does not display the luxury label that Toyota’s Lexus division offers, but it is just as luxurious as a Lexus ES350 in upscale and plush interior, advanced technology, exterior design, and powerful on the road performance, but is available for a much lower price.

New for 2016 is an XLE Plus trim, all Touring models now feature a sport-tuned suspension, and the Touring Sport trim has been removed from the lineup.

The Avalon is available with either a gas-powered or hybrid engine. The base gas engine is a stout 3.5-liter V-6 that produces 268 horsepower, 248 lb. ft. of torque, and is matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission, which yields 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The hybrid 4 cylinder engine combines a 2.5-liter engine with an electric motor that produces 156 horsepower, is connected to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) V-6, and a yields 40 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.

The Avalon comes in four trims- XLE, XLE Premium, XLE Plus, XLE Touring, and Limited. Both the hybrid and gasoline models are available in Touring, Premium, and Limited trims, but the base-level Avalon XLE is exclusively limited to the gas-powered model.

Standard features for the base Avalon XLE trim include leather upholstery, automatic headlights, power front seats, iPod connectivity, 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, and a 6.1-inch center-mounted touchscreen. The XLE Premium trim adds a built-in garage door opener, improved keyless entry functionality, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a power sunroof. The XLE Touring adds fog lights, larger wheels, an upgraded sound system, a navigation system that includes satellite radio, and Toyota’s impressive Entune app-integration system.

The Avalon has been facing some major competition from other full-sized vehicles in its segment and has responded to the challenges by making the Avalon more visually appealing, bolstering the vehicle’s powertrain, improving handling, and adding a full amount of high-tech safety features. Toyota has recently given the Avalon a distinctive look that is different from the Camry and Lexus models with flared-out rear fenders and an attractive roofline that make it really stand out.

Interior features are quite impressive too with a modern instrument-panel with flat, touch-based dashboard buttons/switches that eliminate physical knobs and buttons. The front and rear cabin areas are very spacious with upscale elements throughout and the seats are comfortable, ergonomic, and supportive. The Avalon feels luxurious, with high quality materials, elegant details on the dashboard/console areas and the rear seats are contoured and have elongated lower cushions that provide great thigh support. Rear seats do not fold down, but trunk space is generous measuring 16 cubic feet to accommodate mid-large sized cargo with ease.

On the road, the Avalon feels poised and sophisticated, not sporty, however; when navigating around tight corners it handles much like a sports car in a capable and disciplined manner.

Safety features include- a backup camera system, anti-lock brakes, security system stability control, knee bags, front impact airbags, overhead airbags, and pretensioners. A Blind Spot Monitor is now standard on the XLE Touring and Hybrid XLE Touring models.

Overall, the 2016 Toyota Avalon is one of the most luxurious full-size sedans available today and with a starting MSRP of only $32,650, it is a great choice for anyone wanting a luxury car without the high price tag.  The 3.5-liter V6 gas powered engine is smooth, powerful, and delivers an enjoyable driving experience that is like no other in its class.

If you have been looking for a stylish full-sized sedan that has a lot to offer, then I highly recommend checking out the new 2016 Toyota Avalon today by going to- www.Toyota.com/Avalon

2016 Toyota Sequoia Platinum SUV (Review)

The 2016 Toyota Sequoia is a large, full size, four door, truck-based SUV that is spacious enough to feel like a living room on wheels with ample room for a lot of people (seven passengers), plenty of cargo space,  and an impressive towing capacity up to 7,400 pounds.

Even though the Sequoia has not had any major changes for 2016, it is still a practical choice for bigger families with great on the road performance, comfortable and spacious interior, advanced technology, and quick acceleration.

The Sequoia is available in three trims- SR5, Limited, and Platinum.  All trim levels come fitted with a 5.7-liter V8 engine that produces 381 horsepower, 401 lb. ft. of torque which is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. A 4-wheel drive system is optional. Although there aren’t a lot of engines to choose from, the standard one is definitely not sluggish and delivers remarkable acceleration and the six speed automatic transmission performs perfectly, smoothly, and shifts gears with great ease and without hesitation.

The base SR5 trim comes equipped with standard features which include- fog lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, a deicing windshield wiper, heated mirrors, keyless entry, sunroof, roof rack, running boards, rear privacy glass, a power rear window, tri-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, a 40/20/40-split second-row bench seat that can slide and recline, an 8-way power driver seat, second and third row side window sunshades, a 60/40-split reclining and fold-flat third-row bench, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth controls, a rearview camera integrated into the auto-dimming rearview mirror and an 8-speaker sound system with Toyota’s Entune Audio Plus with 6.1-inch touchscreen, a CD player, Connected Navigation, Siri Eyes-Free smartphone voice controls, a USB/iPod interface, HD radio, and an auxiliary audio jack. A sport package is available for the SR5 trim and adds second-row captain’s chairs, 20-inch chrome alloy wheels, and a color-keyed grille.  The SR5 premium package adds a four way power passenger seat, leather upholstery, a powered reclining and folding third row seat, heated front seats, and a power driver seat with lumbar adjustment.

The Limited trim adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 20-inch alloy wheels, power-folding and auto-dimming outside mirrors, a navigation system, Pandora and OpenTable apps, front and rear parking sensors, a power liftgate, leather-trimmed doors, improved gauges, a backup camera, and a 7-inch touchscreen display.  An optional Safety and Convenience includes a blind spot monitoring system, two-position driver seat and outside mirror power memory functions. A large 9-inch display, 14-speaker JBL audio system, and a rear seat entertainment system with a Blu-ray player is optional.

The Platinum trim comes equipped with all of the aforementioned features and adds heated and ventilated front seats, 20-inch wheels, a blind spot monitoring system, adaptive air suspension, a second-row center console, a premium JBL audio system, a power-adjustable driver seat with thigh support, adaptive cruise control, heated second row captain’s chairs, a power-adjustable steering wheel, and driver memory functions.

Fuel economy is good with the full size Sequoia SUV yielding an estimated 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway, however, some competitors have better fuel ratings.

Standard safety features for all 2016 Toyota Sequoia trims include- front knee airbags, front seat side-impact airbags, stability and traction control, trailer sway control, full-length side curtain airbags, a rearview camera, and anti-lock disc brakes. Front and rear parking sensors and a blind spot monitoring system are optional on the Limited trim, while adaptive cruise control and a blind spot monitoring are standard on the Platinum trim.

The interior of the Sequoia is very nice with a spacious front and rear cabin with enough head/legroom for taller passengers. Seats in all three rows can recline in variety of ways, are comfortable, supportive, and feel ergonomic.

Even though the Sequoia is rugged, there are a lot of elegant interior features and materials that add a touch of elegance to the SUV. The gauges are easy to use, but the touchscreen controls are not easy to reach at times. There are many areas in the front cabin to store items with a big storage compartment directly under the front/middle armrest.

Cargo space is excellent with 18.9 cubic feet of space behind the third row when the seats are upright, 66.6 cubic feet of space when the third row’s seats are folded down, and an impressive 120 cubic feet of cargo space when both the second and third rows are down, which is more than the Chevy Tahoe.

On the road, the Sequoia provides excellent and smooth ride quality, which is much better than many others in its class. The Sequoia has a solid, planted feel when making sudden turns and on curvy roadways. It is more capable off-road than most big family vehicles, however, because of the Sequoia’s large size, maneuvering in tight spaces, can be difficult at times, but the rearview camera is very helpful.

In summary, the Toyota Sequoia remains a great choice for consumers with bigger families that want a large, reliable, and comfortable SUV with a spacious interior, luxurious features, and excellent towing ability.

To find out more about the 2016 Toyota Sequoia, please visit- www.Toyota.com

Next Page »